January is National Mentoring Month


    By Maggie Ives
    Special to The SUN

    Big Brothers Big Sisters is one of the premier mentoring organizations for children in America. We strive to help children facing adversity by matching them with strong, enduring, professionally supported one-on-one relationships that change their lives for the better forever.

    National Mentoring Month serves to increase awareness that there is a mentoring organization here in Pagosa to help the children who need it and that mentoring works.

    The 2013 Campaign is also about reuniting mentors with their past mentees. If you were a “Big” or a “Little” in our program, we are asking you to please reach out to the one you were matched with and reunite again! It can indeed be an amazing experience for both of you.

    In Archuleta County right now, BBBS presently has 10 matches and many of these Bigs have shared the benefits of their experiences in the program. Here is what they had to say:

    “I’m early in the game of being a Big Brother, but the program is certainly what I hoped it would be — an opportunity to provide positive support and encouragement to a young man with a lot of potential.  What more could you ask for? All of us have learned a lot in life just being in the trenches living our lives.  We have learned what to do and what not to do, and how to put our best forward in a lot of different circumstances.  We can be role models and mentors for boys and girls who will benefit greatly from our experiences and our caring.”

    “To have a positive impact on a young person is very rewarding, especially to watch them mature over time and know you have some small part in that process.”

    “Mentoring is a way to share the fruits of your life experiences, good and bad, so that a young child knows they are not alone in what they’re going through.”

    “The rewards of mentoring benefit both the child and the mentor as they share experiences.  I often find myself reliving my own childhood and remembering how I felt.”

    “Mentoring our little brother has been more rewarding than we ever dreamed.  We have learned so much about him and also about ourselves.  We look forward to each get-together with him, as he enriches our lives so much.”

    Not only does mentoring work, but it is a win-win situation for everyone involved. How many life experiences can say that?

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado is looking for three male mentors for the three boys who are waiting for big brothers. Please volunteer today to enrich your life as well as the life of a child.

    Call Maggie at 398-0007 or go to Maggie@bbig.org for more information.